50 years of ASEAN – Still waiting for social and ecological justice

ASEAN turns 50. However, who has a reason to celebrate in times of shrinking spaces, foreign policy disputes and the ecological crisis? We look into realities of people in Southeast Asia behind ASEAN´s promises to be sustainable and people-oriented - and find that many are still waiting for social and ecological justice.


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Graphics: Sabine Hecher.

Environment and sustainability

Climate of Change: The Struggle for Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia - Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

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Video recording of the event "Climate of Change. The Struggle for Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia" on 8th November 2017. More information.

Traditionelles Farmhaus

New strategies of sustainable food production in ASEAN

Podcast: 50 Years of ASEAN

Within 50 years of existence, ASEAN has made progress on environmental policies – at least on paper. On the ground, paradigms around economic development and growth still shape realities of the people who find it literally harder and harder to breathe.

Forest fires and the haze, daily traffic routines and large-scale industry make the extent of environmental damage in Southeast Asia visible. In this podcast series of Johanna Son, we look behind ASEAN´s promises to be sustainable and people-oriented and find that the institution still falls short of social and ecological justice.

50 Years of ASEAN (1/3): Taking stock of ASEAN´s vision of development

Where are ecological concerns in the ASEAN development paradigm? They are stuck in the word “sustainable”. Despite the haze agreement and protocols on maritime policies, ASEAN has fallen short of reacting to climate change.

50 Years of ASEAN (2/3): All clear on the Haze?

The haze agreement is the first agreement in ASEAN on an explicit environmental issue. It has entered into force 2003 in order to manage forest fires and reduce environmental destruction as well as air pollution with joint regional efforts.

50 Years of ASEAN (3/3): Sustainable Transport and Emissions

Everyone who has ever been to one of the Southeast Asian urban centers knows that traffic is a big problem. It is a problem for life quality of the city citizens as the endless traffic jams are health hazards and time consuming. Beyond this, transportation also cause emissions that contribute to climate change. However, solutions to free the streets from cars are yet to be implemented.